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Nebuchadnezzar's dream

CHAP. III.

farther illustrated. dicted its termination at the close of that period. Its who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars duration has been divided into three grand periods, for ever and ever?" What sort of persons should we. each comprising two thousand years, which should be then be in all holy conversation and godliness? Where closed by a period without terminating limits; and is our zeal for God? Where the sounding of our these have been supposed to have their types in the bowels over the perishing nations who have not yet six days' work of the creation, and the seventh day, come under the yoke of the Gospel ? Multitudes of called Sabbath or rest,

whom are not under the yoke, because they have never 1. There have been two thousand years from the heard of it; and they have not heard of it, because creation without any written revelation from God; this those who enjoy the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus was called the patriarchal dispensation.

have not felt (or have not obeyed the feeling) the im2. There have been two thousand years under the perious duty of dividing their heavenly bread with those law, where there has been a wrilten revelation, a suc- who are famishing with hunger, and giving the water cession of prophets, and a Divine ecclesiastical esta- of life to those who are dying of thirst. How shall blishment. This has been termed the Mosaic dispen- they appear in that great day when the conquests of sation.

the Lion of the tribe of Judah are ended; when the 3. One thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine mediatorial kingdom is delivered up unto the Father, years have passed since the true epoch of the nativity and the Judge of quick and dead sits on the great of our blessed Lord; and this is called the Gospel or white throne, and to those on his left hand says, “ I Christian dispensation, which is now within one hun- was hungry, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, dred and seventy-one years of closing its two thousand! and ye gave me no drink.” I say, How shall they

According to the ancient tradition there were, 1. appear who have made no exertions to tell the lost Two thousand years void ; that is, without the law. nations of the earth the necessity for preparing 10 2. Two thousand years under the law. And, 3. Two meet their God; and showing them the means of doing thousand years under the Messiah. And at the termi- it, by affording them the blessings of the Gospel of the nation of the third the endless Sabbath should com- grace of God? Let us beware lest the stone ihat

The comments on this ancient tradition go struck the motley image, and dashed it to pieces, fall on to state, that at the termination of each day's work on us, and grind us to powder. of the creation it was said, The evening and the morn- Bibles are sent out by millions into heathen couning were the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and tries; but how shall they hear without a preacher ; sixth day; but when the Sabbath is introduced, and and how shall they understand the things which they God is said to rest from his work, and to have hal-read, unless those who know the things of God teach lowed this day, there is no mention of the evening and them? Let us haste, then, and send missionaries after the morning being the seventh day. That is left with the Bibles. God is mightily at work in the earth : let out termination ; and therefore a proper type of the us be workers together with him, that we receive not eternal Sabbath, that rest which remains for the peo- the grace of God in vain. He that giveth to those ple of God.

poor (emphatically poor, for they are without God in And are we indeed so near that time when the ele- the world, and consequently without the true riches) ments of all things shall be dissolved by fervent heat; lendeth unto the Lord ; and let him look what he laywhen the heavens shall be shrivelled up like a scroll, eth out, and it shall be paid unto him again. For “ he and the earth and all it contains be burned up? Is that converteth a sinner from the error of his ways the fifth empire, the kingdom of the stone and the king- shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude dom of the mountain, so near its termination? Are all of sins.” God does not call on us to'shake hands vision and prophecy about to be sealed up, and the with all secular, social, and family comfort, and bid. whole earth to be 'illuminated with the bright beams farewell to the whole ; and go to the heathen with the of the Sun of righteousness? Are the finally incor- glad tidings of great joy : but he loudly calls on us to rigible and impenitent about to be swept off the face assist in sending those who, in the true spirit of sacriof the earth by the besom of destruction, while the fice, the love of Christ constraining them, say, “ Here righteous shall be able to lift up their heads with inef- are we! O Lord, send us." Let these servants of fable joy, knowing their final redemption is at hand ? God run to and fro; that by their ministry knowledge Are we so near the eve of that period. when “ they may be increased. Amen.

mence.

CHAPTER III. Nebuchadnezzar, having erected an image, whose height (including probably a very high pedestal) was sixty

cubits, and the breadth six, ordered a numerous assembly, which he had convened, to fall down and worship it; threatening, at the same time, that whosoever refused should be cast into a fiery furnace, 1–7; a punishment not uncommon in that country, (see Jer. xxix. 22.) Daniel's three companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who were present, being observed to refrain from this idolatrous worship, were accused before the king ; who, in great wrath, commanded them to comply with his orders on pain of death, 8-15. But these holy men, with the greatest composure and serenity, expressed their firm' resolution not to worship his gods or his images, whatever might be the consequence, 16–18. Upon which the king, unaccustomed to have his will opposed, in the height of his wrath, ordered the furnace to be made seven

Nebuchadnezzar sets

DANIEL.

up a golden image. times hotter than usual, and these men to be cast into it, bound by the most mighty of his army, who were killed by the flame in the execution of this service, 19-23. On this occasion God literally performed his promise by Isaiah, (chap. xliii. 2 :) " When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee;" for an angel of God, appearing in the furnace, protected these young men, and counteracted the natural violence of the fire ; which, only consuming the cords with which they were bound, left them to walk at liberty, and in perfect safety, in the midst of the furnace.

The king, astonished at this prodigy, called to them to come out of the furnace, and blessed God for sending an angel to deliver his servants; and commanded all his subjects, upon pain of death, not to speak irreverently of the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who were promoted to great power and honour, 24-30. A

striking example of the interposition of Providence in favour of true and inftexible piety. 4. C. cir: 3:24. NEBUCHADNEZZAR the gather together the princes, the 4. M. cir. 3424

.

B. C. cir. 580. Ol. cir. L. 1. king made a an image of governors, and the captains, the Ol. cir. L. 1. Tarquinii Prisci,

Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman.,

gold, whose height was three- judges, the treasurers, the coun- R. Roman, cir. annum 37.

score cubits, and the breadth sellors, the sheriffs, and all the cir. annum 37. thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedicaof Dura, in the province of Babylon. tion of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the 2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to king had set up.

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אדר adargazeraiya, from אריגזריא [The JUDGES

NOTES ON CHAP. III.

not easy to show what these different offices were, as Verse 1. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image it is difficult to ascertain the meaning of the Chaldee of gold] It is supposed that the history given here did words. Parkhurst analyzes them thus :not occur till the close, or near the end, of Nebuchad- The PRINCES] 1939770nx achashdarpenaiya, from nezzar's reign. For it was after his insanity, as we wn& achash, great or eminent, and 77 dar," to go about see chap. iv. 33–36, and this happened near the close freely," and O'Jo panim," the presence.” Satraps of of his reign. The authorized version, which is fol- privy counsellors who had free access to the presence lowed in the margin, fixes the date of this event seven- of the king, teen years earlier, and ten years before the king's in- The GOVERNORS) X920 signaiya, lieutenants or sanity. A few observations on this image may be viceroys, for jo sagan, among the Hebrews, was the necessary :

name of the high priest's deputy. 1. It is not likely that this image was in human The CAPTAINS] Anind pachavatha, from a pach, to form—the dimensions show the improbability of this ; extend, because set over those provinces that had been for what proportion is there between sixty cubits annered to the kingdom by conquest. Pashas- This (ninely feet) in length, and six cubits (nine feet) in word and office are still in use in Asiatio countries. breadth ?

By corruption we pronounce bashaw. 2. It is not likely that this image was all of gold ;

) , for this would have required more of this precious adar, noble or magnificent, and a gazar, to decree. metal than the whole province of Babylon could pro- The nobles, the assistants to the king in making laws, duce; for as I suppose the sixty cubits apply to the statutes, &c. The same probably in Babylon, as the perpendicular altitude, so I take it for granted that the House of Lords in England. six cubits intend the diameter. Now a column of gold The TREASURERS) X127gedaberaiya, from 13 gaof this - height in diameter, upon the supposition that I naz, (the i zain being changed into 7 daleth, according the pillar was circular, contains five thousand seven to the custom of the Chaldee,) to treasure up, and 2 hundred and twenty-five and a half cubic feet; and as bar, pure. Those who kept the current coin, or were there are nineteen thousand avoirdupois ounces in a over the mint; he treasurers of the exchequer in cubic foot, the weight of the whole pillar would be Babylon. eight millions two hundred and sixty-two thousand eight The COUNSELLORS) $277 dethaberaiya, from ng hundred and six pounds ten ounces of gold.

dath, a statute, and a bar, “to declare the meaning 3. It might have been a pillar on which an image of the law;" for in all ages and countries there has of the god Bel was erected. The image itself might been what is termed the glorious uncertainty of the be of gold, or more probably gilt, that is, covered with law; and therefore there must be a class of men thin plates of gold, and on this account it might be whose business it is to explain it. What a pity that called the golden image ; and most probably the height law cannot be tendered to the people as other sciences, of the image may be confounded with the height of the are, in plain, unsophisticated, and intelligible terms, pillar. Or perhaps it was no more than a pillar, on and by persons whose

, business it is to show what is the sides of which their gods and sacred emblems were just and right, and not pervert truth, righteousness, engraven, surmounted with Bel on the top.

and judgment. The plain of Dura) The situation of this place is The SHERIFFS] Xinon tiphtaye, from non laphath, not exactly known; there was a town or city called in Hebrew, nov shaphath, " to set in order.” Probably Dura, or Doura, in Mesopotamia, near the Tigris. civil magistrates. Verse 2. Sent to gather-together the princes] It is And all the rulers of the provinces) All other state 578

( 37* )

A. M. cir. 3424.
B. C. cir. 580.
Ol. cir. L. 1.

B. C. cir. 580.
Ol. cir. L. 1.

R. Roman., cir. annum 37.

R. Roman.,

The three Hebrews cited before

CHAP. III.

the king for disobedience. 3 Then the princes, the gov-8 Wherefore at that time certain 4. M. cit. 3424

ernors, and captains, the judges, Chaldeans i came near, and acTarquinii Prisci, the treasurers, the counsellors, cused the Jews.

Tarquinii Prisci, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of

9 They spake and said to the cir. annum-37. the provinces, were gathered together unto the king Nebuchadnezzar, o king, live for dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar ever. the king had set up; and they stood before 10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. every man that shall hear the sound of the

4 Then a herald cried aloud, To you dit cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dul is commanded, 0 people, nations, and lan- cimer, and all kinds of music, shall fall down guages,

and worship the golden image: 5 That at what time ye hear the sound of 11 And whoso falleth not down and worthe cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dul- shippeth, that he should be cast into the midst cimer, 6 and all kinds of music, ye fall down of a burning fiery furnace. and worship the golden image that Nebuchad- 12 "There are certain Jews whom thou hast nezzar the king hath set up:

set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, 6 And, whoso falleth not down and wor- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these shippeth shall the same hour h be cast into men, O king, m have not regarded thee: they the midst of a burning fiery furnace. serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden

7 Therefore at that time, when all the people image which thou hast set up. heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, the people, the nations, and the languages, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these fell down and worshipped the golden image men before the king. that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto

c Chald. with might. La Chald. they command. l; vi. 25.- - Or, singing. Chald. symphony. 22; Rev. xiii. 15.

Chap. iv.
Jer. xxix.

i Chap. vi. 12. Chap. ii. 4; v. 10; vi. 6, 21.-Chap. ii.

49.- -m Chald. have set no regard upon thee.

or eivil officers, not only to grace the solemnity, but toms two inches from each other, with about twenty to maintain order. My old Bible renders them : catguts of different sizes.” It was the

ient psalSatrapis, or wiise men. Magistratis. Jugis. terium, and most probably the same as David's harp. Dupkis, Iprauntis, or stronge men. Prefectis, and DULCIMER) 17'39Dio sumponeyah; Greek, Oumowveld. alle the Princes of Euntreese.

Probably a kind of tamboor, tambourine, or tomtom Verse 4. Then a herald cried aloud) hing np.xn2 drum. It does not mean the same as the Greek symcaroza kara bechayil, a crier called with might." phonia, which signifies a concert or harmony of many bedel cried inightili.Old MS. Bible.

instruments, for here one kind of instrument only is Verse 5. The sound of the CORNET) There is not intended. less difficulty in ascertaining the precise meaning of All kinds of music] tai yr ho col zeney zemara, these musical instruments than there is in the offices the whole stock, or band, of music; the preceding being in ver. 2. XIV. karna, here translated cornet, is the the chief, the most common, and the most sonorous. common blowing horn, which makes a deep and hollow My old MS. Bible has, Trumpe, and Pipe, and sound, as well as one shrill and piercing.

Harpe: Sambuke, Santrie, and Sunfonye, and al FLUTE) Npwa mashrokitha, from pro sharak, kpnde of musykes. lo whistle, shriek. A wind instrument which made Verse 6. Shall the same hour] This is the first a strong and shrill noise, such as the hautbois or cla- place in the Old Testament where we find the division rionet.

of time into hours. The Greeks say that AnaximanHARP) Ship kithros, cytharus ; xdapa. Some der was the inventor. He had it probably from the kind of stringed instrument. It seems to be formed Chaldeans, among whom this division was in use long from the Greek word.

before Anaximander was born. SACKBUT) XJ2D sabbecha. The Greek has it d'apl- Be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.] Buxn, from which our word sackbut, from 720 sabach, This was an ancient mode of punishment among the to interweave; probably on account of the number of Chaldeans, if we may credit the tradition that Abram chords, for it seems to have been a species of harp. was cast into such a fire by this idolatrous people be

PSALTERY] |"170o pesanterin ; Greek, fadompsov. cause he would not worship their idols. A stringed instrument, struck with a plectrum ; that Verse 8. Accused the Jews.] That is, Shadrach, called santeer in Egypt is probably the same, Dr. Meshach, and Abed-nego. The other Jews were left Russel says : "It is a large triangle, and has two bot- unnoticed; and probably at this time Daniel was too

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B. .
Ol, cir. L. 1.

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R. Roman,

The three Hebrews cast into

DANIEL.

the burning fiery 4. M. cir. 3424. thèm, Is it n'true, O Shadrach, worship the golden image which :

Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not thou hast set up. Tarquinii Prisci,

ye sérve my gods, nor worship 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar cir. annum 37. the golden image which I have full of fury, and the form of his cir

. set up ?

visage was changed against Shadra 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye shach, and Abed-nego: therefore h hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sack- and commanded that they should heai but, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of nace one seven times more than it w music, ye fall down and worship the image to be heated. which I have made; "well: but if ye worship 20 And he commanded the most not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the men that were in his army to bind & midst of a burning fiery furnace: Pand who Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them is that God that shall deliver you out of my into the burning fiery furnace. hands?

21 Then these men were bound in their 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their answered and said to the king, O Nebuchad- other garments, and were cast into the midst nezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in of the burning fiery furnace. this matter.

22 Therefore because the king's "command 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is ment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding able to deliver us from the burning fiery fur- hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that nace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor of the burning fiery furnace.

O king.

S

Or, of purpose, as Exod. xxi. 13.— As Exod. xxxii. 32; r 2 Mac, vii. 2. Chald. filled.—Chald. mighty of strength. Luke xiii. 9. - Exod. v.2; 2 Kings xviii. 35.- Matt. x. 19. Or, mantles. — Or, turbans. -w Chald. word. Or, sparks.

niel, says,

high to be touched; but we may rest assured that he or chief officers of his army; not strong men; there was not found among these idolaters, see ver. 12. was no need of such.

Verse 16. We are not careful] We have no need Verse 21. Their hats] This word, hal, is found to put thee to any farther trouble; we have made up only in this place in the Old Testament. The word our minds on this subject, and have our answer ready: 1500 sarbal properly means an outer garment. He. Be it known unto thee, WE WILL NOT SERVE THY GODS. rodotus, who lived about one hundred years after DaThis was as honest as it was decisive.

“the dress of the Babylonians consisted Verse 17. If it be so] Thou mayest cast us into of a tunic of linen reaching down to the feet; over the furnace; the terror of it has no effect on our minds this a tunic of woollen ; and over all a white short to induce us to alter the resolution we have taken, nor cloak or mantle, Xhavidov; and on their heads they shall the fire change our purpose. We serve a God wore turbans, ustpnor." Following this, Mr. Parkhurs! who is able to deliver us. Should he not, we are translates the verse thus: “ Then these three men equally determined ; but we are satisfied that in some were bound (11743103 besarbaleyhon) in their cloaks, way or other he will deliver us out of thy hand. · Thy (117"Vus patesheyhon) their TURBANS, [117775a7i vepower cannot affect us in the kingdom of our God to charbelathehon) and in their UPPER (woollen) TUNICS, which we shall ascend from thy furnace, should he inviabi ulebushehon) and their under (linen) TUpermit the fire to kindle upon us. "Render to Cæsar Nics.” And as, according to this interpretation, their the things which are Cæsar's,” is a maxim of Jesus 5070 sarbaley were their outermost garments, we see Christ ; but when Cæsar arrogates to himself the things the propriety with which it is observed at ver. 27 that that are the Lord's, then, and in such cases, his autho- these were not changed by the fire. rity is to be resisted. God does not desire Cæsar's - Verse 23. And these three men--fell down bound) things; Cæsar must not have the things of God. There is a most evident want of connexion between

Verse 19. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury] this and the following verse; and it is between these How strange is this, after having had so many proofs verses that the apocryphal Song of the Three Chi). of the supremacy of Jehovah! He had seen how God dren, as it is called, has been inserted by St. Jerome poured contempt upon his authority in the case of the and others; but with this note : Quæ sequuntur in Hethree Hebrews, and yet he will try his strength once bræis voluminibus non reperi ; " What follows I have more! How infatuated is man!

not found in the Hebrew books." And then begins, Seven times more] As hot as it could be made.“ They walked in the midst of the flame, praising God, Seven expresses the great intensity of the heat. and blessing the Lord.” The Septuagint and Arabic Verse 20. The most mighty men] The generals, I read the twenty-fourth verse thus: “Then Nebuchad

vi. 22, 23.

them. door

God delivers them, and a decree CHAP III.

is made in their favour, 1. M. cir. 3424.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the the fire had no power, nor was a 4 M. cir: 3424. B. C. cir. 580.

B. C. . Ol. cur. Lula king was astonied, and rose up hair of their head singed, neither 01. cir. L. I. 'arquinii Prisci, R. Roman.,

Tarquinii Prisci, in haste, and spake, and said unto were their coats changed, nor the R. Roman., ir. annum 37.

his y counsellors, Did not we cast smell of fire had passed on them. cir. annum 37. iree men bound into the midst of the fire ? 28. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, 'hey answered and said unto the king, True, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, king.

and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four delivered his servants that e trusted in him, en loose, 2 walking in the midst of the fire, and have changed the king's word, and yielded id a they have no hurt; and the form of the their bodies, that they might not serve nor jurth is like the Son of God.

worship any god, except their own God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the 29 * Therefore I make a decree, That

mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and every people, nation, and language, which spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-speak hany thing amiss against the God of nego, ye servants of the most high God, come Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be forth, and come hither. - Then Shadrach, cut kin pieces, and their houses shall be Meshach, and Abed-nego, came forth of the made a dunghill : 1 because there is no other midst of the fire.

god that can deliver after this sort. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains,| 30 Then the king

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, and the king's counsellors, being gathered Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of together, saw these men, d upon whose bodies Babylon. y Or, governors. -2 Isa. xliii. 2. Chald. there is no hurt in

-Chap. vi. 26.

<Chald. a decree is made by me. -b Jobi, 6; xxxviii. 7; Psa. xxxiv. 7; ver. 28. Chald. 1 Chald, error.

- Chap. ii. 5. - Chald. made pieces.- Ch. -d Heb. xi. 34.-- Psa. xxxiv. 7, 8; Jer. xvii. 7; chap. vi. 27. Św. Chald. made to prosper. nezzar heard them singing praise, and was astonished.”. O Phæbus, guardian of Soracte's woods To connect the two verses Houbigant adds two verses And shady hills; a god above the gods ; found in the Vulgate, which are the forty-ninth and To whom our natives pay the rites divine, the twenty-third : “But an angel of the Lord went And burn whole crackling groves of hallowed pine ; down with Azariah and his companions into the fur-- Walk through the fire in honour of thy name, nace,

and drove out the flame of fire from the furnace; Unhurt, unsinged, and sacred from the flame. and they walked in the midst of the furnace.” This

Pitts. verse (the forty-ninth) has been added to show the But Varro tells us that they anointed the soles of their reason of Nebuchadnezzar's astonishment, and also to feet with a species of unguent that preserved them account for the appearance of a fourth person in the from being burnt. Very lately a female showed many furnace, as in ver. 25.

feats of this kind, putting red hot iron upon her arms, Verse 25. Is like the Son of God.] A most im- breasts, &c., and passing it over her hair without the proper translation.

What notion could this idolatrous slightest inconvenience; but in the case of the three king have of the Lord Jesus Christ ? for so the place Hebrews all was supernatural, and the king and his is understood by thousands. 7o7hx n3 bar elanin sig- officers well knew it. nifies a son of the gods, that is, a Divine person or Verse 28. Blessed be the God of Shadrach, fc.] angel; and so the king calls him in ver. 28: “God Here is a noble testimony from a heathen. And what hath sent his ANGEL, and delivered his servants.” And produced it? The intrepidly pious conduct of these though even from this some still contend that it was three noble Jews. Had they been time-servers, the the Angel of the covenant, yet the Babylonish king name of the true God had not been known in Babylon. knew just as much of the one as he did of the other. What honour does the Lord put on them that are steadNo other ministration was necessary; a single angel fast in the faith! from heaven was quite sufficient to answer this purpose, Verse 29. Speak any thing amiss] Though by the as that which stopped the mouths of the lions when decree the king does not oblige the people to worship the Daniel was cast into their den.

true God, yet he obliges them to treat him with reverence. Verse 27. Upon whose bodies the fire had no power] Verse 30. Then the king promoted, fc.] He reThe heathens boasted that their priests could walk on stored them to the offices which they held before the burning coals unhurt; and Virgil mentions this of the charge of disobedience and treason was brought against priests of Apollo of Soracte :

them. Summe Deum, sancti custos Soractis Apollo ! At the end of this verse the Septuagint add, “ And Quem primi colimus, cui pineus ardor acervo he advanced them to be governors over all the Jews Pascitur ; et medium, freti pietate, per ignem that were in his kingdom.” This may be the meaning Cultores multa premimus vestigia pruna.

of the latter verse. They were more likely to be set VIRG, Æn. xi. 785. over the Jews than over the Chaldeans.

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